In recent years many cities have started putting laws in place to get the police to stop chasing fleeing drivers. A no-chase policy means that when an officer runs plates and finds that the registered owner of the vehicle has an outstanding warrant, they would attempt to pull that person over. However, if the person takes off, then they would not pursue a chase. Instead, there would be an increased effort and additional tickets for not stopping.
The goal of this policy is to stop the high-speed accidents, injuries, and property damage that happens from chases. Recently officers have lost their lives while putting out stop strips in an effort to end a chase. No outstanding warrant or illegal activity should take a loss of life to get a wanted person to stop.
If you’ve been injured by a person fleeing police, an Atlanta-based car wreck attorney can help.
Atlanta Joins Other Cities with a No-Chase Policy
Atlanta’s no-chase policy is far from the first instance of this type of law. Although it operates on a city level, there are fewer opportunities to implement it widely. It’s a big step for Georgia. Atlanta and all the surrounding areas that regularly see help or assistance from the Atlanta Police Department should experience the change that comes with this new policy fairly regularly.
Pursuits are not uncommon in Atlanta, and although many aren’t necessarily high-speed, you’re looking at something that is widespread but has become so normal it just doesn’t get a lot of attention.
Why are These Policies Implemented
The Chief of Police in Atlanta cited that not only is there the issue of the damages that come from the crash, but the lack of response from the courts. In a public statement, she elaborated that there is no reason to put lives at risk when the court system doesn’t hold these offenders accountable.
All too often, the court system in Atlanta sees burglars, people who have committed auto theft, and worse out on the streets in a manner of days. Soft sentencing and a lack of upholding parole expectations have resulted in a lack of trust between the police and the judiciary arm of the local government. Ultimately, the question comes down to, why would police risk their own lives and the lives of civilians for guilty people who will remain among the general public?
Will This Mean More Criminals are “At Large?”
In theory, yes, but it can make it easier to locate warrants that have been lost or overrun in the system. Often there are so many people out with warrants that there’s very little effort to get anyone on these cases. But, when police run license plates and find that the person has a warrant, they take action.
So now, what will happen is that police will act on the detected warrant or person who ran by issuing the warrant for their arrest and acting on it immediately. The Chief of Police reported that her focus within the department will be to shift gears and better their investigative techniques, which can still result in rightful arrests but not put civilians at risk.
What Happens if You’re Hit by a Fleeing Person?
There are many Atlanta residents who have had some type of property or physical damage as a result of these chases. Now you have a few options. You may be able to put a claim through the City of Atlanta for their part in the chase and your wreck. You could also pursue a claim through your police for a hit and run and cite the Atlanta PD and unknown persons as involved in the wreck.
Ultimately, you may only have your UIM policy as an option, and for that, you might not have much to stand on. If you don’t have a UIM policy, then filing a claim with the city would be the better choice.
Atlanta Car Accident Attorneys Do Their Part
For those who were hit by a person fleeing, it might seem like you’re part of a typical hit and run. But the new no chase policy might have a bigger impact on your claim than you might imagine. It’s critical that you consider all the elements of your wreck, including the at-fault driver, possibly being part of a not engaged police pursuit.
When you’re looking at resolving your Atlanta crash, work with police and a personal attorney. Your attorney from The Weinstein Firm can help you build a strong case for a UIM claim or a hit and skip if the driver failed to stop. Call our office today for help.